Every week should include three days at work and four days off, according to one of the world’s richest men.
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim believes in order to help our workforce become more productive and to better blend our personal and professional lives, we should be working a 3-day week.
According to the Financial Times, while attending a conference in Paraguay, Slim told the crowd we have it all wrong when it comes to our work-life mentality.
“People are going to have to work for more years, until they are 70 or 75, and just work three days a week – perhaps 11 hours a day,” he told the conference.
“With three work days a week, we would have more time to relax; for quality of life. Having four days [off] would be very important to generate new entertainment activities and other ways of being occupied.”
Slim makes a good point – around the world, more businesses are opting for shorter working weeks, or giving employees the option of working a full week on full pay, or a shortened week, allowing staff to look after their families or take part in other activities and hobbies.
In the UK, a leading doctor has suggested a four-day working week to help combat stress and reduce unemployment. Professor John Ashton, the president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, said the five-day week should be phased out to end what “a maldistribution of work” that is damaging many people’s health.
In New Zealand, during the height of the global financial crisis, many businesses gave staff the option to work a four-day, 10-hour week – or a nine-day fortnight – to allow companies to better structure working hours and avoid making people redundant.
Shorter working weeks could also be a good idea at a time when many employees are suffering from being overworked and are putting in much longer hours than the traditional nine-to-five, leading to high stress, disengagement and unhappiness.
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It’s also believed employees who work a shorter week are less likely to take days off sick. This has been the case in Utah, after the state switched to a four-day work week in 2008.